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Sunday Bread Pudding + Caramel Sauce

September 27, 2011

This weekend I spent most of my Sunday afternoon in the kitchen trying a new recipe for Apple Bread Pudding with a Caramel Apple Cider sauce. Let’s just say the results were well worth the effort! This bread pudding has the perfect ratio for custard to bread creating a beautiful creamy texture while the caramelized apples and cider caramel sauce put this recipe over the top. And the best part…there is tons of extra caramel sauce to drizzle over ice cream all week!

{photography by freutcake}

Caramel Apple Bread Pudding: by The Gilded Fork

For the apple bread pudding:
4 apples (Braeburn, Gala, Fuji or Empire recommended), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup butter
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
pinch of salt
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 loaf of Brioche or Challah bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 vanilla bean (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (increase to 1 tablespoon if omitting the vanilla bean)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

For the cider caramel sauce:
1 cup apple cider
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

For the bread pudding:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Toast the bread cubes in the oven until they are crispy, but not burnt, about 10-15 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Add the vanilla bean, brown sugar and salt, stir until the sugar is dissolved and then add the apples. Sauté the apples until caramelized and the sugar becomes a thick syrup consistency. Set aside to cool.

Combine the heavy cream, milk, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the eggs, yolks and sugar. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly temper the eggs with the hot milk, whisking as you combine the two. Whisk in the cinnamon and nutmeg and remove the vanilla bean. Pour the liquid over the bread cubes in a large bowl; add the caramelized apples, walnuts or pecans and mix to combine. Let sit for about 1 hour to completely soak all of the bread with the liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a baking dish with either non-stick baking spray or butter. Place the soaked bread cubes into the prepared baking dish and gently press to create and even layer on the top. Bake in the preheated oven until the custard is set and bread is puffed and golden brown on top, about 45 minutes.

For the cider caramel:
Place the apple cider in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil over a medium flame and simmer until the liquid has reached a dense syrup-like consistency and has reduced to approximately 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool slightly.

Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice in a tall non-reactive metal saucepan. With one hand work these two ingredients together until it feels like wet sand. With a wooden spoon, stir the sugar constantly over low heat only until the sugar is completely dissolved. This step prevents the caramel from becoming grainy. Remove from heat and using either a pastry brush or your hand, clean the insides of the pan so that there are no stray granules of sugar on the sides. Do not stir.

Return the pot to the stove and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Cook, without stirring but swirling the pan occasionally, until a golden caramel color is reached. In a separate pan or in the microwave, heat the cream to slightly warmer than room temperature. Remove the caramelized sugar from the heat and carefully whisk in the warmed cream. It will spatter and boil up, so it is best to stand back when adding the cream. Place back on the heat and whisk to remove any remaining lumps of sugar. Quickly pour into a clean glass or metal bowl to cool. Whisk in the butter, salt and reduced apple cider. Let cool to room temperature.

*Freutcake Note: next time I make this recipe I will be leaving out the nuts for personal taste preferences!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. thefauxmartha permalink
    September 27, 2011 9:23 am

    Oh goodness. This looks incredible!

  2. September 27, 2011 4:24 pm

    Delish!! The caramel sauce looks perfect

    • September 27, 2011 9:48 pm

      Thanks Nic! It is worth making the recipe just for the caramel sauce leftovers!

  3. September 27, 2011 6:36 pm

    That might just be the most delicious looking thing I’ve ever seen.

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